A new study shows the projected nursing shortage has shrunk by 420,000 registered nurses.
The biggest contributor to the change -- now a predicted 340,000 shortage compared with the previously projected 760,000 -- is that more people are entering the profession in their late 20s and early 30s, says Vanderbilt University Medical Center professor Peter Buerhaus, one of the researchers who produced the study.
Buerhaus says 80 percent of the improvement can be attributed to growth from those who chose nursing after starting a career in another field.
Although the research points to a large reduction that shows the country is on the right track, Buerhaus says, if the projected shortage is not further reduced, the nation's health-care system could be overwhelmed.
"I would liken it to a category five hurricane that's weakened to a category four," says Buerhaus. "Even if it hits, a four's going to kill you as much a five. It's still a massive, big shortage."
More... Study: 'Massive' nursing shortage narrowing but still bodes ill
Jan 10, '07
Quote from wooh
And it's great people are entering it as a second career, but...
People from other lines of work I believe will be less inclined to put up with what nurses that know nothing else are accustomed to. I wonder how long they'll stay in nursing, considering they have other careers to fall back on?
I don't think the big question is how to get people into nursing, I think it's how do we get them to stay in nursing? And that's going to take massive changes that hospitals aren't going to want to pay for.
As one who will contribute to the statistics in 2 years, I want to say you make an interesting point. On the other hand, have you considered the fact that those of us who are young second career people may possibly be what the nursing profession needs?
I do not plan to work bedside for very long because conditions are poor and nurses are not able to be
nurses. Plus, I know I will not have enough power to make any changes as a bedside nurse.
Thus, in order to make changes I will spend most of my career as an Administrator. If I spend any time bedside, it will more then likely be in the military where Registered Nurses are respected and able to provide excellent care (at least that is what I hear).
Last edit by MBARNBSN on Jan 10, '07